Let's just say that I tend to be experimental to the bitter end of getting a quilt done. But there are some things that are consistent in getting the binding done. I thought that I'd share those here in a tutorial of sorts, the way that I do them, certainly not the only way.
I cut my binding strips across the width of fabric in 2 inch strips. I pin the strips to join them at an angle, to reduce bulk.
At one end of your strip, cut a 45 degree angle. It's hard to explain, but the longer edge of the binding needs to be the side that will be against the quilt when you sew it on. See the photos in the next few steps.
If I am planning on finishing the binding off by hand, I sew the binding to the front of the quilt. If I am planning on doing it all on the machine, I start by stitching it to the back of the quilt. This is where some of the experimental part can come in. In other words, your choice, see what works best for you.
I begin pinning the binding down in a random spot, kind of eyeing to see that the seams of the binding strip won't land on a corner. I think that pinning in rather crucial to the binding not getting wavy when its done. I lengthen my stitch by 2 lines (on my Bernina), and sew with a scant/skinny 1/4" seam. Hop over the edge of the binding angle by about an inch, and then start sewing again. If you miss the hop, you can unstitch later.
When you have made it around the quilt and are coming up to the open tunnel of the binding beginning, continue pinning the binding down. Trim the binding long enough to neatly tuck inside the binding tunnel, without too much excess bulk.
Now that the binding is on, I take the quilt to the ironing board and set the seams. Then I press the binding to the edge of the quilt, turn the quilt over and press it down where I will be stitching it. If I am going to stitch it down by hand, I use the hair snap clips to hold it in place. If I am going to stitch it down by machine, I use straight pins, and pin parallel to the stitch line.
Stitching it down by machine is quick and durable through many washings and tugs of use. I have used the basic straight stitch, a blanket stitch, zig-zag, and other decorative stitches to finish it off. I generally prefer that my thread match the binding, and the bobbin thread match the backing. Im usually tired at this point, and nearing the home stretch, I really don't want my stitching to stand out. I'm looking for done.
If you are so inclined, hand stitch the binding at the joining area. If I am doing all machine work, I usually pass on this, it's so tight and full, it's not going anywhere.
And another project is d-o-n-e.
If you have any questions, please ask.